A Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) associate professor today contended in the Delhi High Court that the plea making allegations of plagiarism against him was not maintainable as it was filed with a private interest in mind.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice C Hari Shankar was informed by the professor's counsel that his book was an edited version of his thesis and almost the same piece of research work, and sought dismissal of the plea saying it was "only a personal dispute" with the petitioner.
The court was hearing a plea seeking removal of JNU associate professor SK Ishtiaque Ahmed from his post in the Centre for Persian and Central Asian Studies alleging that he has plagiarised works of several authors in his Ph.D thesis as well as in a book on Iranian politics.
"This showed that the petitioner has a malafide intention to malign and confuse the university authorities that had already acted upon the previous complaint of April 25, 2017 made by the petitioner," the professor said in an affidavit filed before the court.
The petition by Nadeem Akhtar, a Ph.D research scholar in the same department of the varsity, has alleged that despite the instances of plagiarism being brought to the attention of the JNU, no action was taken and the person concerned was promoted from assistant professor to his current position of associate professor.
The professor sought dismissal of the petition saying there was no bonafide interest of the petitioner in this litigation and it was only a personal dispute with him.
The court had earlier asked the JNU to file a status report in the matter after conducting an inquiry and also initiate criminal action, if the professor was found in the wrong.
The plea has alleged that "a huge chunk of his (professor's) thesis is lifted verbatim from 15 different sources. The respondent 3 (professor) has not only plagiarised texts and footnotes from various books of writers in his Ph.D thesis, but has also plagiarised the conclusion of his thesis using the conclusion of an eminent writer, as his own".
Apart from that, the petition has also sought quashing of the Ph.D degree awarded in Persian language in 2000 to the professor.
As an interim relief, the plea has sought directions to the university to cease his duties as research supervisor at any level and not to assign any classes till the outcome of this petition.
It has sought that the professor be prohibited from supervising and guiding any M.Phil or Ph.D student in the university during the pendency of the plea.
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